Is MR-HIFU the right treatment for me?

Do my fibroids have to be treated?

If you have fibroids which are not causing any symptoms, it is not necessary to treat them from a medical point of view. You should however make sure you have them regularly followed up by your gynaecologist. If fibroids cause symptoms, patients are generally advised to have them removed. Whether you require treatment and if so, what procedure should be used for your fibroids, depends on factors such as their size and position, and how old you are. You should discuss with your gynaecologist which procedure is most suitable for you.

Several conditions have to be fulfilled if you are to be a suitable candidate for treatment with MR-HIFU.

Diagnostic MRI is carried out to determine whether MR-HIFU is possible for you.

If your fibroids are causing you symptoms that call for treatment, your gynaecologist should tell you about the option of non-invasive treatment using MR-HIFU. Your gynaecologist should then refer you to a radiologist who treats patients with MR-HIFU. The radiologist will then send you for a diagnostic MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging). This examination of the pelvis is carried out to visualise your fibroids, to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether MR-HIFU is a suitable treatment method for you. Hospitals offering MR-HIFU can be found on site.

What type of fibroids can be treated?

Not all fibroids can be treated with MR-HIFU. Factors that exclude excluding patients from seeking MR-HIFU treatment currently are currently contraindications for MRI and pregnancy. In some cases, treatment with MR-HIFU is not possible if a fibroid is situated very deep. Every case has its own special features. Only a physician with appropriate training in the field of MR-HIFU therapy can tell you whether MR-HIFU is a suitable alternative for treating your case.

For practical reasons the number of symptomatic fibroids should not be too high to ensure treatment does not take too long. Some fibroids can be difficult to treat due to their size (exceeding 10 cm), or preliminary treatment with hormones may be necessary to make them shrink.

For women who want children MR-HIFU is also a procedure that is unlikely to harm the womb. At present, there is not sufficient information available to be able to make official recommendations on fertility and MR-HIFU. However, preliminary experiences with pregnancy following MR-HIFU is encouraging given the high rate of live births and ongoing pregnancies.

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